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noises off

Uploaded by Brent R Goodin on May 09, 2004

Michael Frayn’s Noises Off is a 2 ½ hour classical farce that appears at first to be one play; but, after the Second Act, one can clearly see that it is composed of two plays running parallel to each other that are: Nothing On, a sex farce, and the backstage farce that takes place whilst the cast rehearse for the “final leg” of the Nothing On tour. The two plays meld, as the characters make their exits from Nothing On and entrances to the backstage tomfoolery. Whilst the characters come and go from one farce to the next, they find themselves entangled in a web of confusion and ultimately a disastrous final performance.
This play centers on the theme of embarrassment and according to Frayn it is “about an anxiety everyone has, that he may make a fool of himself in public.” This feeling is commonly shared amongst the masses, hence the plays long-lasting appeal. Although the play is witty, entertaining, and absolutely hilarious, do not make an attempt to understand where the play is heading because the plot is thrown out the window in the first act.
The setting for Nothing On was a mahogany brown mansion in the countryside. To the left of the front door was a large checkered window that made it easy enough for Seldon Mowbray (the burglar) to sneak in and rob the house. To the right of the front door was a staircase leading to a bathroom, a bedroom, a closet and an attic. Directly in front of the audience a living room with a couple of couches and a television. Altogether, the house had seven doors and a hallway. Surprisingly enough, the doors never fell off their hinges from their constant usage throughout the play. The house was tidy in the beginning but by the end of Act Three, it looked as though a hurricane had just passed through it. As for the backstage, it was completely blue and was rather barren with not too many props as one would expect. However, there were a lot of passageways and stairs leading back onstage. The visual design was very impressive.
Not having a trained eye for farcical acting technique, it would be difficult for me to critique the quality of their performance. The play was jam-packed with comical...

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Uploaded by:   Brent R Goodin

Date:   05/09/2004

Category:   Literature

Length:   3 pages (732 words)

Views:   4628

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